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I'm running Ubuntu with Cinnamon. When checking my IP I noticed it is being masked. I have done nothing to set this, other than installing Tor. But - I am not starting up Tor, yet is it still running somehow, even from a reboot where I did not start Tor.

Looking at my system with Firestarter I see Tor is running.

How could Tor (or some aspects of it) be running on it's own? How can I shut it off? I see no mention of Tor under system processes that are running.

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I assume you have Tor either from Ubuntu archives or from the Tor archives installed. They install Tor as a daemon. This means the software is started automatically on every boot. You'll find a start script in /etc/init.d/tor.

You basically have two options to shut it off:

  1. Uninstall Tor
  2. Remove Tor from the startup

For the second case you can use bum, the bootup manager. Maybe this is not installed. So you have to install it first. Then you open bum as root and look for the entry tor. Make a right-click and select Deactivate & apply now: screenshot  of bum and clicked on tor Now Tor will not start automatically, but only when you want it to start.

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Are you sure that the IP is going through a proxy like Tor and you're not just confusing your internal and external IP addresses? Try making sure that Tor isn't listed as a startup program, and check this site from the Tor project to be sure that it is Tor that's running

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The sites says Tor is running. How do I check what programs run at startup? – het Nov 4 '12 at 3:42

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